MARCH 2022 – Even 32 years after retiring in 1990, Doris Thompson remains connected and dedicated to the profession of pharmacy.
Every year before the pandemic, she made her way to the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto to personally congratulate the recipient of an award named in her honour, the Doris Thompson Award. Thompson graduated from the faculty in 1952.
And every year, she donates to the Canadian Foundation for Pharmacy as a way to give back to the profession.
“Pharmacy is changing and it’s important to support research that helps guide the profession and helps pharmacists keep up,” says Thompson.
CFP’s support of pharmacy education prompted her first donation more than 40 years ago. She had learned that one of the new graduates hired by the hospital had received a grant from CFP, which had enabled her to complete her education at the University of Saskatchewan. From that time, CFP was on Thompson’s list of charities to support.
During her career, Thompson personally gave back to pharmacy as well. Her dedication and volunteer work earned her several awards, including the Ontario Pharmacists Association’s Mortar and Pestle Award of Merit in 1978 and the Isabel E. Stauffer Meritorious Service Award in 1990.
Perhaps her proudest achievement was working with the graduate students who were in a one-year program in the hospital, and were also part of the Faculty of Pharmacy’s residency program. “We always ensured that we had at least one graduate in the program each year. I also enjoyed working with the pharmacy students at various levels and with new graduates,” says Thompson.
When she retired, the hospital’s pharmacy staff worked with the Faculty and created the Doris Thompson Award, awarded to the fourth-year student with the highest final grade in the Institutional Pharmacy Practice Management course and who has been accepted into a hospital pharmacy residency program.
Thompson looks back on her career with fondness. “I really enjoyed my work,” she says, adding that pharmacists were always part of the team during rounds at the hospital. She recalls she had worked a couple of years in community pharmacy before settling down at St. Joseph’s—and while she enjoyed her work in community pharmacy as well, it was at that time a very highly male-dominated profession. “Customers never seemed to believe that a female could be a pharmacist,” says Thompson.
When asked what she thinks of community pharmacy today, she responds that “pharmacy is definitely heading in the right direction. Pharmacists were very well received and very much appreciated during the pandemic.”
Thompson continues to try to keep in touch with the profession, through updates from CFP and from one of her two sons, Jeff, who was a hospital pharmacist prior to his retirement. And she hopes that other pharmacists will join her in supporting the Foundation’s efforts to fund education, research and innovation. “They’re all connected and we’re very fortunate to have a charity like CFP so we can help support the future of the profession.”